Books, Authors

and other resources mentioned in the podcast

Episode #15

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Christoffel Sneijders
3 Brains Coaching

Christoffel’s passion is to help make this world a more Heart Brain-based society and inspire people to do the same whilst following their objectives and dreams.​

He now has more than 28 years of experience working as an executive coach, therapist and leadership trainer and as an associate professor at the IE Business School in Madrid in organizational behavioural leadership. Last but not least, he is a PPC (professional certified coach) coach by the ICF.

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Highlights of the Session

Christoffel Sneijders
Connecting Purpose and Career

In this episode, Christoffel Sneijders tells about the three brains: Gut, Head and Heart. He describes how they function and how it works when someone has dominance in one of them. He also explains how to find an alignment between these brains so that we can make better decisions. 

Here are some of the highlights:

We have three brains. Scientists discovered 35 years ago that in the heart, we have one hundred thousand brain cells that operate like a brain - can remember, can make decisions.

Now you're a mom, so you know how you sometimes feel that your heart almost squeezes when you leave your little one alone. Now, why does your heart squeeze?  That signal is not coming from your head. Now your heart feels, “oh, I’ll leave my little one alone”, and it gives a reaction. Also, it can produce three hormones that help you in that: oxytocin - the love hormone, endorphins- that puts you in action, and dopamine - the famous memory-drug, you could say. 

And in the same period of time, in the mid-80s, beginning of the 90s, the gut-brain got officially approved as a brain. So, Michael D. Gershon, with 30 years of research on the gut, described in his book “The second brain” that we have 500 million brain cells in the gut; that's the size of a dog brain in your gut. 100 million around your small intestine, and the other 400 million in that area to make all kinds of decisions. And not only about digestion but everything that has to do with your survival needs. So, when you have that gut feeling from, “Agh! Should I do it or not?” that's your gut saying, “Is this wise for my survival or not?” where do you feel fear? In your gut.

The 3 brains have their own authority and their own objectives; the gut brain thinks all about survival, me, myself and I. Everyone who's a winner, whether in sports or companies or politics or in whatever's… they need a big gut brain. To become a real winner, you also need your heart-brain because you have to follow your passion. And your heart-brain is all about connection.

If you follow your gut, you would say: "okay, I will go for my own career, for my own stuff and my own things, and by the way, I don't care". 

If you follow your heart, you'll say: "no, I take care of the team. I take care of the family. I take care of everybody else". 

If you follow your head, you say: "Okay, let's be logical. What is the best decision based on all the statistics and all the wise things?" 

If you follow only one, most times you may regret it in the end. So we must align those three and let them have a discussion inside and come up with a common solution.

List of Books, Authors & Resources: 

  • The second brain by Michael Gershwin

  • Seven and a half lessons about the brain by Lisa Barrett Feldman

  • Multiple Brains by Grant Soosalu

  • How men and women fit by Christoffel Sneijders

  • Peter Levine – author

  • The body keeps the score by Bessel van der Kolk 

  • When the body says no by Gabor Mate

  • Why Zebras Don't Get Ulcers